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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - March 31, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta Wednesday, March 31, 1971 - THI LETHBRIDGI HERALD - 41 Military has operated pipeline for 15 years No apparent environmental damage By KENT STURGIS HAINES, Alaska (AP) - The military has operated a 626-mile fuel pipeline through Alaska and northern Canada for more than 15 years without apparent lasting environmental damage, a United States Army report says. The eight-inch line was designed and built in the mid-1950s before ecology became a household word. Beginning at the deep-water port of Haines in Alaska's southeastern Panhandle, the pipeline snakes over mountain passes as high as 7,000 feet, and crosses 26 major rivers through the Yukon and British Columbia to Fairbanks, Alaska. To date, the report says, the army line has withstood earthquakes, floods, sub-zero temperatures and vandalism. But it also says the line has been the source of more than a dozen documented spills ranging from a few barrels to 4,000 barrels, and is in a "deteriorating" condition. The board of directors of the Southeast Alaska Community Action Program passed a resolution last month asking Gov. William A. Egan to appoint a board to investigate a spill last September into a tributary of the Chilkat River, about 20 miles north of Haines. It also asked that the pipeline be closed "until it is satisfactorily shown to be in good condition." The resolution had been requested by Tlingit Indians in Haines and nearby Klukwan, � at . . . 426 - 6th Strttt S. ANGLO DISTRIBUTORS GRAND OPENING Thursday - 9:30 a.m. FREE GIFT - PRIZES who use the Chilkat River for subsistence fishing. The army report said the break, through which about 1,800 barrels of jet fuel was lost, was caused by corrosion. The army said fishing reports indicated "the bottom of the small stream was bared of marine life by the density of the initial spill." The report said that "monitoring of this stream by fisheries experts continues" and added that other environmental damage appeared negligible. The existing pipeline has faced many of the same problems as those encountered by seven oil firms hoping to build and operate an 800-mile trans-Alaska crude oil pipeline from the Arctic coast to the Gulf of Alaska. The trans-Alaska pipeline cannot be built until approval for construction is granted by the interior department under terms of the National Environmental Policy Act. More than 75 per cent of the route crosses federal land. MANY OPPOSED Conservationists and others express fear that construction of the commercial pipeline will harm Alaska's ecology and wildlife populations permanently, and will open the last sizeable American wilderness to face-changing development. Thev also raise the nossibfl'tv of spills in shipping the oil by tanker from Valdez, the southern terminus of the proposed line, to Washington state and elsewhere along the West Coast. This possibility is of considerable concern to Canada. The oil companies, which have formed Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. in their joint venture, contend the Alaskan line is the only practical and economic means of marketing oil from the North Slope oilfields, located hundreds of miles from the nearest highway. Fate of the trans-Alaska pipeline hinges on construction stipulations now being prepared by the interior department after environmental impact hearings in Washington and Anchorage. The army pipeline was built in 1954-55 under supervision of the Corps of Engineers to supply an assortment of fuels to interior Alaska military reservations. LINES DIFFERENT The existing pipeline is only one-sixth the diameter of the proposed 48-inch trans-Alaska line. The fuel it carries is much lighter than crude oil. Its route is several hundred miles south of that over which the commercial pipe would be laid. The army line has a daily pumping capacity of about 30,000 barrels, while the larger line could deliver more than two million barrels of oil to Valdez daily. The military facility cost almost $44 million when completed; the trans-Alaska line would cost more than $1,000 million. But those involved in construction and operation of the military line have dealt with many of the problems facing the Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., and have learned a number of environmental lessons. The history of the Haines-Fairbanks pipeline is contained in a report compiled recently at the request of Fairbanks Mayor Julian Rice, who presented it as evidence with his testimony last month at bearings in Anchorage. It was prepared by the petroleum directorate of the U.S. Army in Alaska. The report contains limited information on a dozen spills re- ported since the spring of 1956, with eight of them occurring since 1968. Six were caused by corrosion, four by bullet holes, one when a motor vehicle struck a valve and another when buried pipe was ruptured by a power pole auger, the report said. FEW RECORDS KEPT "There was never a requirement to report environmental damage caused by petroleum spills," it said. "As a result, very few official records or observations were made that reflect this area of concern so prevalent today." The most serious oil spill on record occurred near Deza-deash Lake in The Yukon in May, 1968, when about 4,000 barrels of diesel fuel were lost. The army said it was caused "from a corrosion break where the pipeline was buried in an area of predominantly corrosion-conducive soils." The army said "the fish kill was considered significant," but added that as of last summer, lake fishing was "fair to good." Although the army reports no serious problems caused by per rnafrost-considered one of the engineering question marks in the trans-Alaska proposal-it has learned several lessons from operations in severe winter temperatures. Some critics of the trans-Alaska pipeline say that because the line will be moving hot oil over areas of heavy permafrost, the pipe may buckle and break if the hot oil melts ice-laden soil supporting the line. The army report said its pipeline-built south of the Arctic C i r c 1 e -i s laid over ground which contains mostly "patchy" permafrost which does not have as high a water content as per' rnafrost north of Fairbanks. smell the value One whiff of fresh roasted Nabob and you know it's going to deliver your money's worth. In flavor - the West's most popular. In freshness - sealed in by an airtight poly liner. In quality that never varies. And valuable coupons for gifts. For real value, buy Nabob. Outsells all ground coffees in the West combined. Safeway Sale Days! Come and Save at the Big Taste Tells Canned Foods and Safeway Brands Coffee and Tea SALE On This Week. PRICES EFFECTIVE This Week March 31-April 3 in Lethbidge and Taber appip iiiirr 3 i�� F�l � Lb W Ul wfc Ta from Concentrate .... 48 f I. ez. tin %J for | M|IY|b|| |ffl*|�C Teste Tells or Peas and Carrots, Asst. Peas, M f IVI l#mblr � ��UwB Cream Corn- Mix or Ma,ch____14 fl. oz. tin f for f TOMATO CATSUP ~^r;, 4 * 89' SLICED PINEAPPLE =*-sir: 5 JM BARTLETT PEARS rr^srjr4 -100 VI HUilk III in T.S. Taste Tells................... 14 fl. ez. tin Q for | WHOLE MUSHROOMS- 2.79' WUUflll AlbiiW fin. granulated ...................................... 1Mb. bog | i-- ----"--- -- - - - - - ! Safeway Brands of \ I Tea and Coffee Sale! I 1 GROUND COFFEE .^*fc1J,� | WHOLE BEAN COFFEE r! i INSTANT COFFEE *...... ^ 1 i I TEA QAPC I09' �BLACK TEA BAGS ^=rs5_9^j SUCEDBAC0N FRESH EGGS WOOD ACRES Brand Breakfast Gem D gM AO Rindless Side V% LI Canada Grade A M 0 ( "WW Mb. net wt. � � Large Size...... f Z I Vac Packed pkg. . .. ^0 %^ ��I � HEN TURKEYS Pinecrest Frozen Young Canada Grade A Frozen, 12 - 16 lb. avge. WASHED POTATOES sr.s �. 20 79' Bp appi k ft qq0 llll nW I LEiV Canada Fancy, Red Delicious......Cello bag %J lbs. V V Many More Specials in all Departments We Reserve the Right to limit Quantities SAFEWAY CANADA SAFEWA'Y LIMITED ;